Xavier University’s men’s basketball program, coming off its second NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance in five years, is ranked as the 17th best program in NCAA Division I over the past 25 seasons, according to the ESPN.com's “Prestige Rankings.” The rankings were announced last week.
The site reports that “the Musketeers have quietly gone about building one of the most consistently strong programs in the country since the 1984-85 season.” Xavier is the highest ranked of three Atlantic 10 Conference schools that made the top 50. Temple (20) is second among A-10 members, while Massachusetts is third (42).
The ESPN.com series, “Prestige Rankings,” ranked every team in NCAA Division I for the past 25 seasons. ESPN posed the question: “How do you rank the best programs in the modern era of college basketball?”
To answer, it looked at measureable data including the hundreds of college basketball teams, the thousands of regular-season and postseason wins and losses, the NBA draft picks, the All-American players and the conference titles to come up with a numerical point system that ranks every college program's success since the start of the 1984-85 season. That is the year when the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams. ESPN assigned point values for certain successes and failures in more than 20 categories.